Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies by Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy – Here are My Five Lessons and Takeaways (The Short Version)

(Note from Randy:  I presented my synopsis of Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies at the March First Friday Book Synopsis. I will write my “normal-length” blog post about this book later this week.  But, here’s my short version).Sorry, Sorry, Sorry


Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies by Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy

  • What is the point? — Our entire culture is starved for apologies; sincere, good, well-worded apologies.  Learning to make a good apology is part of the calling of being fully human.
  • Why present a book on apologies in a business book gathering?
  • hospitals need to apologize
  • Businesses, like health-care systems, have to create an environment that makes it safe for employees to admit errors and then work collaboratively to fix them.
  • airlines need to apologize
  • companies need to apologize.
  • people need to apologize to other people they work with.Until they do, the work will be…harmed…

 1)  Say you’re sorry. — FIRST, say “I apologize” or “I’m sorry.” Say it. Say those words.

2) For what you did. — Say what the something was. Specify! This is important. This is something that gets bungled a lot. Name it. Say it simply. …Remember, apologize for what you did. Not for how the other person felt about it. You are apologizing for your actions, not how the other person responded to them.

3) Show you understand why it was bad.

4) Only explain if you need to; don’t make excuses. — Focus hard on not letting explanations drift into excuses. Keep in mind that “I didn’t mean to!” is an excuse. It is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

5)  Say why it won’t happen again.

6) Offer to make up for it.

6) 6½: Six and a half. Listen. — Make sure the person you’ve apologized to can have their say. Listen. Do not interrupt; do not protest. Just listen.

  • Clearly, not every step is needed in every apology. But never ever skip one and two—always say you’re sorry and what you’re sorry for.

  • And here are my Five Lessons and Takeaways:

#1 – You will do wrong; you will commit wrongs that hurt other people. Try to do wrong less often.

#2 – When you do wrong to another person, apologize; say you are sorry.

#3 – When you apologize, apologize.  Don’t explain, justify, excuse, blame, or ask for anything.  Apologize.

#4 – If you lead a team, group, company, be on the lookout for hurt between people.  Learn to help people apologize to each other.  Company success, group success, team success all depend on this.

#5 – Apologize with no expectation.  Apologize because it is the right thing to do.

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